Busting out of Punk Hazard!
Story/Art: Eiichiro Oda
Translation: Stephen Paul
What They Say
The battle on Punk Hazard heats up as Luffy faces off against the diabolical Caesar Clown. Meanwhile, can the rest of the Straw Hat crew escape the deadly gas that is spreading all over the island?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With Law’s attack the building’s structural integrity is shot even further, allowing the gas to seep in faster and faster. Realizing the situation he’s in Caesar snaps in front of his men and finally lets his ugly side show, absorbing the gas into himself and becoming a giant. As Caesar cackles and wipes out his own men, Luffy finally reaches his breaking point, hitting the scientist so hard that he is rocketed out of the building. Though the foe is defeated, our heroes still need to make a mad dash to safety, and Law is also more than a little angry at Luffy for not capturing Caesar like they agreed.
Meanwhile, Doflamingo’s quirky assassins Baby 5 and Buffalo, a weapon woman and spinning man respectively, arrive at the island. Using their skills they quickly clear the gas from the island and locate Caesar, who they ordered to retrieve. However, before they can grab him Franky notices them from inside his giant robot. Though he doesn’t quite know what’s going on, Franky manages to defend the location with relative ease from the powerful foes. Seeing that he’s going to get captured, Caesar then takes the opportunity to stab the heart he believes to be Smoker’s, which is actually the heart of Monet, taking her out before she can blow up the island. When Baby 5 and Buffalo prepare to escape, Nami and Usopp also get a chance to show off their worth, taking down the fleeing foes.
The rest of the book is spent on the wrap up and Law using their leverage to confront Doflamingo indirectly. Will his plan work, or will the warlord prove craftier than our heroes expected?
This volume does a nice job of wrapping up the Punk Hazard arc and setting up the next one, though it’s nothing too spectacular. Caesar unfortunately doesn’t make for much of a fight, but at least Luffy is able to get a decent hit on him. Probably the biggest surprise here, though, is the bonus fight for Franky. The new characters are plenty quirky, and it makes for a rather amusing battle. Add in your usual tearful goodbyes and a few moments setting up Doflamingo’s powerful presence, and you get a decent little volume. Hopefully the next arc will manage to give Luffy and company some foes that can really challenge them once again, but for now this remains a nice read for fans of the series.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: March 4th, 2014